Boris Johnson’s trade plans from G7 will be catastrophic: from the Amazon to the NHS

28th August 2019 / United Kingdom
Boris Johnson’s trade plans at G7 will be catastrophic: from the Amazon to the NHS

It’s official. Donald Trump has the dubious title of world’s worst presidential liar. The Washinton Post now has a Trump tracker and it has identified over 10,000 false or misleading claims and outright lies since his presidency, which you can watch in a rather entertaining 4-minute video HERE. The bad news is that Trump is Boris Johnson’s new best friend – a man himself who has been caught out for his … false or misleading claims and outright lies.

We would sign a “very big trade deal, bigger than we’ve ever had,” once the UK is freed from the “anchor” of the EU around its “ankle”. Says Trump at the G7 this week, which Boris Johnson said was a “fairly tight timescale.”

It certainly won’t be a big deal for Britain as a Uk/US trade deal has been calculated to only increase GDP by 0.2 per cent in a largely unreported but extensive 2018 cross-Whitehall study of the costs and benefits of Brexit. It estimated, in its own words – “that a US free trade agreement would increase UK GDP by only 0.2 per cent after 15 years, a tiny fraction of the 2 to 8 per cent costs of Brexit during that time.

For America, they get a whole new country to exploit.

Johnson confirmed he had reiterated his opposition to the NHS being opened up to US firms as part of any trade deal – and to the UK lowering animal welfare standards to US levels to get a deal.

Not only have I made clear of that, but the president has also made that very, very clear. There is complete unanimity on that point,” he said at the G7. He suggested there would be “tough talks ahead”.

It was only six weeks ago when Donald Trump insisted the National Health Service MUST form parts of post-Brexit trade talks with the United Kingdom.

Jusy one of Britain’s problems is that Johnson made Liz Truss Britain’s new trade minister – whose main input into trade policy during her political career was a rant about cheese. She has no professional experience in negotiating highly complex contracts that take countries with teams of experts years to agree. American trade negotiators have a lot of experience in this.


EU Deal

Optimistically – Johnson said in the final hours of the G7 conference at his closing press speech  – “I do think that the EU will to come to an agreement right at the end.”  In the meantime he repeatedly refused to rule out suspending parliament in order to force through a no-deal Brexit, should an agreement with Brussels not be possible.

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Raphael Hogarth writes for The Times and is an Associate for the Institute of Government makes a valid point about this – “If (Johnson) maintained his commitment to take the UK out of the EU without a deal on 31st October, “do or die,” ignoring the letter of the statute or even a court judgment clarifying it for him, then that would be the end of the rule of law in this country.” 


US Deal

Campaign group Global Justice Now lambasted the free trade policies of Boris Johnson, claiming they represent both a threat to Britain’s public services and food system and have brought runaway climate change a step closer. Ahead of Johnson’s breakfast with Donald Trump at the G7 in Biarritz, campaigners warned that Johnson’s proposed trade deal with Trump would inevitably make Britain more unequal and less able to deal with poverty and climate change.

But they also took aim at the policies of all G7 countries, saying that the obsessions with free markets and ‘big business first’ trade deals was driving runaway climate change. A briefing produced by the group showed five ways that free trade deals accelerate climate change, including:

  • Promoting industrial-scale agriculture and logging
  • Giving big business new powers to shape environmental policy and legally challenge governments which try to enact pro-environmental regulation
  • Making it harder for governments to limit fossil fuel-produced energy


Nick Dearden, director of Global Justice Now, said:
The economic policies of G7 countries are the key reason we face a climate emergency. The obsession with free market, free trade policies over decades has given corporations vast powers to challenge environmental regulation, public services, and balanced economies. The Amazon is just one more victim of these policies. Only a radically different policy, enacted today, can give any hope that we can step back from the abyss. Ripping up the EU-Mercosur trade deal, which will only lead to problems in the Amazon, is essential.
“Sadly, our own Prime Minster, Boris Johnson, is at the G7 to cosy up to climate denier Donald Trump, hoping to secure one of many free trade deals which will threaten both our ability to deal with climate change, but also our food system and our public services. Johnson’s promise to protect the NHS should be taken with a very large pinch of salt, because the threat to our health system will be written across a US-UK trade deal, from the new powers it give big pharmaceutical corporations to charge higher prices for medicines, to restrictions on preventing Big Tech companies from mining the NHS database (2).
“This will go well beyond a US trade deal, however. Johnson’s government is talking to countries across the world who will want to use Brexit to insist on even more damaging environmental policies from the UK. Only last week Malaysia said that reducing regulations on palm oil production would be the price of a post -Brexit free trade deal. It’s come to the point where our very survival on this planet depends upon challenging this free market orthodoxy and building a fairer society.”




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